Erwann Michel-Kerjan | Catastrophic Risk Management & Resiliency Expert
Lavin Exclusive Speaker

Dr. Erwann Michel-Kerjan (EMK) is the speaker you call to better understand why we see more catastrophes these days, and what you can do to avoid or overcome them—as well as how to lead, make crucial decisions under stress, and build resilience. While many still look to risk-management, he approaches these events from a value creation perspective: to not just weather uncertain and frightening scenarios, but thrive in today's more volatile world. 

EMK is the foremost authority on addressing the risks, financial impacts, and business and public policy challenges associated with truly paradigm-shifting events. Think major floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, global climate change, and environmental disasters. Catastrophes come in other forms too, like terrorist attacks, pandemics, and financial upheavals. Such disruptive events have been increasing in frequency and severity, and EMK is the ideal guide to plotting the right course through the extraordinary. He also speaks on broader issues related to improving your decision making under stress and uncertainty; risk management strategy; improving your organization’s resilience; and leadership lessons in times of crisis.


EMK is the Executive Director, Risk Management and Decision Processes Center and Adj. Associate Professor, Operations and Information Management Department at the Wharton School of Business. Recently named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum (Davos)—an award honoring the world’s best and brightest leaders under 40—EMK collaborates with number of businesses, top policymakers, and organizations around the world on how to better protect against black swan events and develop innovative solutions that create both quick wins and long-term value. He also serves as Chairman of the OECD Secretary-General Advisory Board on Financial Management of Catastrophes which advices the 34 Finance Ministers of members' countries on these issues.

He has studied at Polytechnique (France), McGill (Canada) and Harvard (USA). Recipient of the prestigious Kulp-Wright award for the most influential book in risk management, winner of the Lloyd’s Science of Risk prize in the Climate Change category, and a regular contributor to leading media, he has given over 100 public speeches.   

Speech Topics

Risk Management
The New Risk Architecture Welcome to Risk Management 2.0

Not very long ago, extreme events were considered to be low probability events because they simply did not occur often. In a sense, that was reassuring for many top decision-makers who might not have to face them during their term of office. But in just the first few years of the 21st century, the world has faced a string of catastrophes of a totally new dimension on almost every front: large-scale natural disasters, global climate change, international terrorism, energy crises, technological accidents, major corporate failures, and, of course, an historical financial crisis with ripple effects worldwide. In fact, there has not been a six-month period in the past few years without a major crisis that simultaneously affected several countries or industry sectors. Those have seriously challenged the old risk management paradigm. In this groundbreaking talk, risk management speaker Erwann Michel-Kerjan introduces the key pillars of our new architecture using concrete examples. And, he demonstrate how you can change your organization so it is not only better prepared, but can take advantage of a more chaotic world.

Dealing with the Extraordinary Financial Catastrophes

Large-scale financial risks are reshaping the future of our increasingly interdependent world and this new era calls for a new model. In this talk, world-renowned catastrophic risk management speaker Erwann Michel-Kerjan helps organizations find their way through an array of black swan nightmares. What separates Michel-Kerjan from the pack is his knowledge on value creation—how public and private organizations can design blueprints that allow them to flourish and actually increase value in tough times rather than remain static as innovators pass them.

Global Economy
Dealing with the Extraordinary Environmental Catastrophes
Imagine a scenario where a massive flood or earthquake takes out the supplier of one critical widget needed to build your company’s highest-selling product. All of a sudden you’ve lost weeks of revenue while finding an alternate source for a part that only represents a fraction of the cost of your product. This kind of situation is one that many companies simply don’t prepare for, says risk management speaker Erwann Michel-Kerjan in this forward-thinking talk. Yet, in an increasingly disaster-ridden world, it’s an issue that will separate the companies that prosper from those that stumble. While growing globalization of social and economic activities worldwide has brought many benefits, its flip side is that the risks you face are becoming more global too. Interdependency is the defining element of the 21st century. Some companies are now competing with one another on an engagement and stewardship level that remains uncharted for many other major players. Michel-Kerjan outlines the ways companies can lead in a modern marketplace that includes re-evaluating global business change and interdependent risks, and innovative plans for catastrophic what-if scenarios.